Farm economy stable after farm bill expires

On Aug. 27, The Gazette published the story “Farm bill inaction could turn clock back to 1949,” in which a variety of people, mostly politicians, sounded a litany of the disaster that would occur if Congress didn’t pass a new farm bill to replace the one expiring on Sept. 30.

Rep. Bruce Braley, in a showboat demonstration designed to make farmers think he was sincere in helping them, attempted to get 218 congressmen agree to force a vote on a farm bill. He was aware that there was no way that many would agree with him. He also was aware that even if he did, the bill could not pass.

Sen. Tom Harkin, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Dave Loebsack spoke of the calamitous effect that would fall on farmers if no action was taken. They mentioned the lack of a bill would bring on the devastating effect of allowing Tom Vilsack to set price controls and production limits.

Well, lo and behold, wouldn’t you know that on Oct. 1, the day after expiration, we find a story in The Gazette headlined “Iowans should be OK despite expiration of farm legislation.” In this story, a farmer from Columbus Junction says he doesn’t anticipate any problems with the delay in passing a bill. The deadline the politicians set for falling off this cliff has come and gone. The bill expired. The farm economy seems stable despite the previous perception of a looming disaster and nightmare.

So much for patronizing political positioning.

Dick Roggensack



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